October, 2006

  • Vista:: Packaging revealed

    I think for the first time ever I can say that we have created really realy cool packaging for the new Windows Vista and Office 2007 releases.

    Take a look at this:
















    Sources: Microsoft Presspass & Longhornblogs


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  • Windows Server Tip

    I just wanted to share this tip with you:

    Here in Belgium when we install a Windows Server we always get the English US keyboard by default, which is no good because we don't use the querty layout. So we always have to add or select Belgium Dutch keyboard and delete the US keyboard.


    So when you delete the US keyboard you get a message telling you that the keyb is in use and will be deleted at next logon. Now If you don't want to re-logon to make sure the keyboard layout has been deleted you can just delete the keyboard layout again and it will be gone.


    Don't know but maybe this applies to Windows XP also.

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  • Ready For a New Day? We are (almost)

    Yesterday we had the first dry-run sessions and most of the went well. There was one thing that every presenter really really liked. Most of them had the reaction wow this is cool and believe me it is. I have your attention now? You want to know what it is? Let me explain it's all about the projector we are using.

    A projector, nothing special? Well our's is very special because we have Windows Vista running onto this projector. This is great to see how our products are used and the fact that they are not only used for a personal computer but also for lot's of other devices.


    We are using a Barco iCon which normally has Windows XP running on it, we are currently testing Windows Vista for this projector and it works very very well. The nicest part of this projector is that you  can position up to four projection sources simultaneously onto the screen. We will use two of them one will be the PPT which we even could run on the projector instead of using the laptop because we also installed Office 2007 onto this cool device. The other window will be the demo window and we can easily switch between full screen and dual screen.


    This week I even tested the network projector functionality, this let's you connect to the Barco iCon using the network projector client in Windows Vista. I must admit it works ok but when the ppt is very heavy to send you see some latency onto the screen. Anyway this is a very cool product and the native resolution of this projector is super. The native resolution of the iCon H600 is HDTV 1920 x 1080.

    Barco will have a booth at the event so go ahead and talk to them if you need more information about their products.


    Personally I find this the best projector I ever used so far and it runs Windows Vista.



  • Funcast:: Windows Powershell for Exchange 2007

    Last week we had our first Funcast and I must admit the session didn't went like we planned it. We had major sound issues, Our apologies for that. I recorded this session again for you.

    You can view the recording from here


    Our next funcast will be held on Nov 22th and we will show you how to create a blog- and wiki site with Sharepoint 2007. I will post more info about this funcast later on and hopefully we will not have sound issues anymore.

  • Are you ready for a new day event

    As you might have read on this blog I am a content owner and speaker on our Business Innovation Day event which takes place on Nov 9th here in Belgium. I want to share my experiences as a content owner, check out this blog as I will post more about being part of such a big event.

    So we are getting closer and closer to the event date and as I speak we have more than 5000 subscriptions to this event. And if I look at the numbers it seems that the Track where I own three sessions out of four has the most subscriptions. This is great!!!


    Beside of being content owner I am also responsible for the hardware delivery. We will all present on Dell D820 machines with Windows Vista and Office 2007 as base applications. I almost get 10 e-mails a day asking when will these machines be delivered. I always answered soooon, now today I could announce that the laptops finally arrived. Now the installation part can start and I will have less e-mails to respond to :)

    This week we already had our slide deck reviews. After the first review we all had the same conclusion less slides more demo's. And I promise you that our sessions in the "Reduce security risks and deployment costs" track will contain lots of demo's.


    Today I started the installation of an Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003  and I can't tell you to much about the hardware we are using but I can share with you that we are having a 4 node HPC cluster each running on a Dual Quad Core processor. Did I say dual quad core machines? No? Maybe? Come and see at the HPC boot where we will show you the power of Windows High Performance Computing. I will blog about the installation procedure later on this week.


    Tomorrow more Vista, Office 2007, Windows Server and Virtual Server installations, slide deck and demo reviews. More about the sessions later.


    Want to join us at the event : http://www.readyforanewday.be



  • Windows Defender & Windows Desktop search 3.0 released

    This week we released two (new) products, Windows Defender and Desktop Search 3.0.

    I have been using Windows Defender for ages know, I not only installed it onto my business laptops but also onto my home PC's, friends PC's, etc and I have been clean since. Go ahead and install this free product before your beta release expires. This release version is available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Download Defender now

    Read what's new in Defender


    After installing Defender you can start installing the new Desktop search 3.0 for Windows XP SP2. Windows Desktop Search 3.0 is the technology which enables instant search on your computer. It helps you to find, preview, and use your documents, e-mail, music, photos, and other items. The search engine in Windows Desktop Search 3.0 is a Windows service that is also used by applications such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and OneNote 2007 to index application content and deliver instant results when searching within that application. Windows Desktop Search 3.0 provides fast indexing, improved performance, and improved file type support.


  • Do you want to be a Centro beta tester

    Do you want to be a beta tester for "Centro" an upcoming Microsoft Infrastructure project. This product is aimed for small businesses up to 250 PC's. Do you want to have more information than check out Kevin Beares his blog where he calls for your help in his "What is Centro" post

    Centro press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2005/sep05/09-06Infrastructure.mspx

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  • Vista:: Windows Meeting Space

    Today I played around with Windows Meeting Space in Windows Vista and I must say it's really easy to use and make it possible for you to share information and collaborate with up to 10 Meeting attendees.

    So you can share your desktop or (even non Microsoft) applications with the meeting member(S), which you can invite by creating an invitation file and send it through an e-mail for example or let them search for the meeting. Once the meeting is found they provide the password you assigned to the session. You could even connect the session to a network projector and not only share you meeting online but also through a projector.

    Last but not least you can connect through an existing network or an ad-hoc wireless network.


    Don't I need Live Meeting anymore?

    Live Meeting is designed to help people collaborate from different locations, across corporate boundaries, and on different networks over the Internet. Live Meeting is browser based and can be used by any Microsoft Operating system. Live meeting support much more users up to 2500.


  • Microsoft DOPSA

    Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance (DOPSA)

    You know we acquired some great management technlogies time ago, now we gonna leverage the technology from Wininternals, Softricity, Desktop Standard and  Assetmetrix into a "Desktop optimization pack".


    We gonna use technology like software virtualisation and streaming from softgrid, Advanced Group Policy Management, Diagnostics and Recovery toolset.

    Using these solution’s you will:

    • Improve PC manageability
      • Streamline and accelerate the entire application management lifecycle from planning and predictable deployment, to using, maintaining and migrating software
      • Further reduce total cost of ownership of the Windows desktop
      • Enhance management of software assets
    • Accelerate and simplify desktop deployments and migrations
      • Reduce end-user downtime
      • Increase IT and business agility
    • Enhance change management process and roll backs
      • Enhance group policy management
      • Reduce downtime
      • Provide end users with on-demand access to applications for which they are assigned

    The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance can transform the way you manage your desktops. It will enable you to better control the desktop, accelerate and simplify desktop deployments and management, and create a dynamic infrastructure by turning software into centrally managed services.

    Read the official press release here

  • System Center Capacity Planner SP1 & DPM 2006

    A few weeks ago I did a presentation on System Center Capacity Planner 2006 and Data Protection Manager 2006.

    Last week we released the SP1 for System Center Capacity Planner 2006.

    So what's new in SCCP 2006:

    • Compatibility with Windows Vista
    • Support for low speed WAN links
    • Enhancements to optimize planning for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) deployments
    • Minor bug fixes

    SCCP 2006 is only available for Technet Plus Subcribers

    Somewhere soon we will announce the availability of DPM 2006 SP1.

    What's can you expect from this service pack:

    • protection of 64 bit production servers
    • protection of production servers with Single Instance Store (SIS) enabled
    • allows for protection of clustered production servers
    • and has a roll up of all fixes

    Update SP1 is available now:

    Read more info about what's new

    Download from here


  • IE 7 Download available

    You can now download IE7 for Windows XP and Windows 2003.  Go ahead and download it from here


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  • New Search experience

    I just read on Michael Kleef his blog about this new interesting search experience. So let go google, live search and start using MSDewey search which give's you a richer UI.

    Check it out for yourself:  http://www.msdewey.com

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  • IE7 and Automatic updates

    We will soon release Internet Explorer 7 and this new release will be delivered as a High Priority update through Automatic Update.

    If you are a an administrator of your machine and as soon as the Internet Explorer setup is downloaded you will have three options:

    1. Install: The installation procedure will start after the genuine windows check and the homepage, favorites and search settings will be kept.

    2. Do not Install: You will not be asked again to install IE7, however if you have admin privileges you can always use the optional update to install IE 7 afterwards.

    3. Ask again later: The installation process will be canceled and the Automatic Updates will ask you again after 24 Hours.

    Once IE7 has been installed you can always revert back to the Internet Explorer 6 you had previously.


    We developed a blocker tool if you as an Admin do not want to have the IE7 delivered through Automatic Updates. With this tool and Group policies you will be able to block the deployment of IE7 through Automatic Updates however it will not prevent the manual installation of IE7.

    If you are using other technologies like Windows Update Service (WSuS) or SMS 2003 to manage the update of IE delivered through the Windows Update or Microsoft Update.


    These screenshots of how IE 7 can be delivered through Automatic Updates is still work under progress and still can be changed.

  • Upcoming Webcasts

     I just wanted to share two upcoming events with you.

    The first one is something new in Belgium from now on we will have monthly funcast. It's basically a Webcast but somehow different first it's only 30 min's and we are not going to show you any slides. It will always be 30 min of demo's.

    The first funcast is about Windows Powershell scripting for Exchange 2007.
    Here are the details:


    TechNet Funcast : Introduction into Powershell scripting for Exchange 2007
    October 18, 2006 / 16:00 - 16:30
    Live Webcast
    During this 30 min session we will show you how to get started with Windows Powershell for an Exchange 2007 environment. We will dive into mailbox management, database management and AD user configuration using powershell commands or scripts.

    Register now


    The second Webcast is about System Center Data Protection Manager V2 Beta 1, remember my previous blogpost about installing DPM V2.


    TechNet Webcast : A first Look at System Center Data Protection Manager Version 2
    October 27, 2006 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Live Webcast

    Register Now


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  • Vista:: Windows Mobile Device Center

    You can now download the Windows Mobile Device Center (Beta 3 Release) for Windows Vista RC1 or higher.

    Download it here.


  • Vista:: Some UAC tips

    On the LonghornBlogs.com you can find two tips about UAC. The first one is how to see what you current credentials allow's you to do. The second one is how to run elevated applications much easier (some of them).


    How to see what your current credentials allows you to do:

    start cmd prompt and type "Whoami /all" you will then get an output of your username, Sid, which groups you belong to and the privileges you have. There are different parameters you could use with this command for example if you run "Whoami /priv" you get the list of privileges you have. Try this out with a normal cmd prompt and with one that runs in elevated mode and notice the differences.


    How to run elevated app's quickly:

    This is a handy tip go on and:

    1. click on the start (orb) and type in the command for example cmd.

    2. Hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys and then press Enter.

    Now the elevation (UAC) prompt will show up asking you if you want to run this app in elevated mode.
    I did try this out and it works however there is only one way of making this work. For example if you want to start IE in elevated mode then the first thing you will try keeping this tip in mind is start-orb - type Internet (IE will be on top of the list) - hit ctrl+shift  +Enter. What happens now? Nothing? Why? Because if you want to use this function you need to have the app name instead of searching for this name. How will IE work then? Simple, start-orb  - type iexplore - ctrl+shift + Enter. Now the UAC elevation prompt will show up.


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  • Vista:: Windows Mobile Device Sync

    I am currently beta testing the Windows Mobile Device Center Sync features in Vista, this beta is only available for Microsoft employees but I wanted to share this with you.

    I installed the Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) software, unfortunately it is still not yet ready for a public release and I know teams are working really hard to get this nice peace of functionality to you. Once ready the software will show up in the Windows Update list.


    This application looks really slick and is easy to configure and use.

    My device was already connected so I just clicked on Setup your device to start the sync configuration


    Select which items you want to synchronize and click on next.

    Once the configuration is done you can change to content sync settings. So you could change how mail, calendar, ... is synced.

    I changed my calendar items to sync the past 3 months and saved this config.

    This last screenshot shows that my mobile device has been added to the Sync Center. You can manually force the synchronization by clicking on the device and selecting the sync feature.

    Once the configuration and sync is done you could use this tool to download images and video's from your mobile device.

    This is how the software looks like today, I don't think it will change a lot (UI wise), however changes could still occur and the features list could change also.


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  • Data Protection Manager V2: Part 1 Installation

    Just downloaded the DPM V2 Beta1 bits and started the installation of it.

    Before you can install DPM the pre-requisite software needs to be installed:

    Microsoft Management Console 3.0  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=55423

    Hotfix 891957. http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=48584

    Windows PowerShell  32-Bit x86 operating systems: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=65813
                                   x64-Bit operating systems: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=65814

    Once the pre-requisite software has been installed you can install the DPM. You have two possibilities either you can install DPM completely automated by running the setup or you can install some required windows components and SQL server components manually. If you use the setup like I did DPM will configure the ISS, SQL server automatically. The following screenshots shows how the install procedure works.

    Before installing the DPM V2 Beta 1 you could review the system requirements or read the release notes.


    Setup is starting with the welcome screen, here you can see which steps are needed to install the product. The next step will be the pre-requisite check.


    The setup tool will check if your server has the required hard- and software. In my case because I was running on a Virtual Server guest machine and I did not had enough memory the tool recommended me to have 1GB. The second issue was that setup could not detect my AD because I logged onto the machine with the local admin user. However I could just continue with my installation because there were no blocking issues.


    Fill in the requested name and company and go on will the installation.


    Select the install folder for the DPM program files. You can select to install the SQL server 2005 from the DVD or select an existing instance of SQL Server 2005. DPM uses SQL Server 2005 for its back-end technology and the DPM licenses includes the SQL Server license which can only be used for the DPM server. For thisa Beta 1 version you cannot select another instance of SQL Server 2005. This will be made available for the Beta 2 version.


    The DPM installation will create two user accounts MICROSOFT$DPM$Acct and MICROSOFT$DPMWriter$, these accounts are needed for the SQL server, SQL agent and the DPM writer service. Just fill in a password for these accounts.

    Yes I want to join the Customer Experience Improvement program. Or not?


    A last install settings summary before the installation actually starts.

    The installation starts and give you an overview of the installation process.

    The installation process has completed successfully and you now can start using DPM V2.

    In some of my next post I will show you how to configure the DPM and how to backup an Exchange environment.


    Note: Make sure you Windows Server is member of a domain before installing DPM V2


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  • Vista:: Customizing the Common File Dialog and Send To menu

    Reading through my blogs I found this really interesting tip on WindowsConnected blog.

    Did you know you could change the common file dialog box with your own folders or links.

    How very simple, open start or orb and click on your name then open the links folder ([systemdrive]\users\[username]\links. You can drop shortcuts of the links you want to have available, I already added some works nicely. Have a look at the blogpost on WindowsConnected to see some screenshots of this customization.


    In another post on this blog they explain how to add something the the "Send To" menu basically you can create a shortcut for example of notepad.exe onto the following location "[systemdrive]\users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo". Once you have done that you can send docs to notepad by using this feature which already exists in XP but I created another way to put something into the "Send To" menu.

    I created a shortcut to the "Send To" folder in the "Send To" location now when you find something you wan to have in the "Send To" menu just right click on that object select "Send To" and send it to "Send To" shortcut.

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  • Exchange 2007 Versions

    During the ProExchange user group meeting last week Steven talked about the Exchange 2007 versions and did mention a bit about Exchange 2007 licensing. This is how it normally will be:

    There will be two Exchange 2007 Server versions

    Standard Edition

    • 5 Databases
    • Log Replication
    • No Storage Limit

    Enterprise Edition

    • 50 Databases
    • Log Replication
    • Clustering

    You will be able to upgrade from the Standard Edition to Enterprise edition without reinstalling the software.

    We will also introduce a new user Cal, the Enterprise Cal. From now on you will be able to choose between Standard User Cal and Enterprise user Cal.

    The standard user cal is very much like todays cal with some aditional features like Org-wide policy management, improved anti spam and enhance mobile security.

    The enterprise user cal will have some additional offerings like Unified messaging, managed e-mail folders, forefront for Exchange offering and Exchange Hosted services.